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Mancy A'lan Kane - Paper Moon

Review by Paul M. Carhart
Originally published in The Lighthouse Electronic Magazine (TLeM)

The latest teen phenomenon to hit the Christian music scene is Mancy A'lan Kane. About the only thing her new release, Paper Moon has in common with her self-titled teaser CD that was released last year, is the song, "After The Rain"...and anyone who has heard both releases won't even recognize the common song this time around.

That's not necessarily a bad thing though. Kane's teaser CD was decidedly under-developed and very acoustic in nature, reminding one of a coffee house performance. Paper Moon is much more a pop album, relying on upbeat drums, baseline hooks and bright keyboard and guitar texturing. Indeed, her latest outing has more in common with the likes of Sarah Masen or a helium influenced Amy Grant.

So where did she come from? Kane, now nineteen, sang background for Jars Of Clay on a recent tour, who assisted in the lyric department on no less than four songs on Paper Moon. She signed her solo record deal on her eighteenth birthday and the rest is ever-so-short history that we, as listeners have the pleasure of witnessing first hand.

Vocally, Kane's innocent voice shows much promise. Her performance is controlled and surprisingly sincere for someone who has not experienced a whole lot of life. In fact, what may be most remarkable is that Kane is not merely a performer, but a songwriter and much of Paper Moon reflects her introspective ponderings, many of which are inspired by her parent's divorce and subsequent insomnia.

As is often the case on an artist's debut album, musically, Paper Moon runs the gauntlet from the decidedly pop opener, "Prettier Colours" to the acoustically percussive "Mad On The Moon" and "Little Girl" to the string laced title track and on through to the more hip and upbeat "I'll Be The One" and "Hurricane."

All in all, Kane doesn't seem to be trying to be anything other than what she is: a nineteen year old girl who loves the Lord. Her music reflects that, giving us all a taste of the thoughts, emotions and insights that a young girl who has gone through some tough times experiences. Young people will definitely identify directly with Kane's music. For us older folks, perhaps through her music, we can better understand what others might be going through.

At nineteen, Mancy A'lan Kane has turned out a diverse and thoughtful project with Paper Moon. Perhaps at twenty-one she'll dig even deeper for an encore.


Related Information

For a year or so I was a CD reviewer for The Lighthouse Electronic Magazine (TLeM) where this review was originally published.

- Paul M. Carhart


  © 1998 Paul M. Carhart, all rights reserved, all media.